But a Kariba based business man is literally paying the price for his association with Zanu(PF), the party accussed by human rights groups and MDC of being responsible for the violent election campaign in 2000, 2002 and 2008.
The violence which accompanied the previous elections forced foreigners to stay out of Zimbabwe leading to the near collapse of the tourism industry. Violence swept through towns such as Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Kariba and Karoi ahead of 2002 presidential elections. Chinhoyi based terror gang, the Top Six employed ruthless tactics against its opponents leaving a trail of destruction and few bodies.
The gang was accused of commiting serious crimes such as abductions, murder, rape and assaults but the youths were never brought to justice.Though Kariba resort town looks majestically on the shores of the largest man made lake generating electricity for the country, a senior Zanu(PF) member is battling to convince local and international tourists to visit his hotel.
Even traditional weekdays of Gova vibes are no longer attracting foreign tourists. Some locals say the hotel is cursed by the Gods because of violence which left many MDC supporters dead.
This reporter observed that very few visitors including local tourists stay at the hotel which was once a popular venue for tourists.
“ Some visitors stay for longer periods because they are not aware of the hotel,s past but those who have information about political violence that took place here don’t stay, ”said one hotel employee who spoke on conditions that he is not identified.During the turbulent election campaigning days, Zanu (PF) youths visited the hotel where they intimidated their opponents.Some even allege that the attacks were launched from the hotel in question.One of their victims was the late MDC supporter Luckson Kanyurira who was abducted and brutally beaten to death.The youths were allegedly led by Muneri Chakwana who is affectionately known as Black Jesus.
The team was hired by a well-known Zanu(PF) legislator in the area who allegedly assigned them to weed the area of MDC.
Kanyurira’s lifeless body was left at the local bus terminus for nearly 5 hours. Few people pleaded with marauding youths to take Kanyurira’s body to hospital but they acted as if they were possessed by demons and refused, according to one resident. His death still haunts many residents of this small community.
“ Kariba will never be the same again because of what happened here during the elections, ” another resident told Radio Vop.
The Kanyurira murder case has died a natural death just like other cases where Zanu (PF) members were implicated.Many of the 20 suspects and witnesses to the violence and murders have died in mysterious circumstances.President Robert Mugabe says elections should be held next year and has said the coalition government with his MDC partners will not be extended.
But the smaller formation of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara says Zimbabwe is not ready for elections.The party says the violence which left more than 200 MDC supporters dead is still fresh in the minds of many voters.